Sunday, May 1, 2011

Loans, deposits turn a profit for Western Alliance

Higher loan and deposit growth and diminishing loan problems helped Western Alliance Bancorporation turn profitable in its most recent quarter.

The parent of Alliance Bank of Arizona earned $2.7 million, or 3 cents a share, for the period ending March 31, reversing a loss of $2.1 million, or 3 cents a share, from January to March 2010. Total interest income, a measure of revenue, rose to $72 million from $68.7 million.

The results beat analyst estimates of flat quarterly earnings, Zacks Investment Research reported. Western Alliance stock gained 36 cents a share, to $8.20, on Tuesday.

Robert Sarver, chairman and chief executive officer of Western Alliance, which relocated to Phoenix last year from Nevada, said each of the company's three operating units was profitable for the first time in three years.

"We continue to make important strides on multiple fronts simultaneously as we achieve total loan growth while reducing higher-risk construction and land exposure and growing our deposits while reducing our funding costs," he said.

Pre-tax operating earnings of $25.3 million topped the $19.1 million reported for the first quarter of 2010.

Net-interest income hit a record high, as total loans and deposits each rose more than 5 percent.

The firm's loan portfolio improved. Non-performing assets came to 3.3 percent of total assets, down from 4.2 percent one year earlier, and net charge-offs fell 41 percent.

The latest quarterly earnings included a loss of 5 cents a share from the sale and valuation of repossessed assets.

by Russ Wiles The Arizona Republic Apr. 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Loans, deposits turn a profit for Western Alliance

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